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Publication numberUS6921286 B1
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 10/303,170
Publication dateJul 26, 2005
Filing dateNov 25, 2002
Priority dateNov 25, 2002
Fee statusLapsed
Publication number10303170, 303170, US 6921286 B1, US 6921286B1, US-B1-6921286, US6921286 B1, US6921286B1
InventorsRobert Fernandez
Original AssigneeRobert Fernandez
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Light emitting diode jumper cables
US 6921286 B1
Abstract
A jumper cable assembly has a pair of clamps at both ends for parallel connection to a weak and a strong battery for starting a motor. Along the side of the assembly is mounted at least one light emitting diodes (LED) that is powered when either end of the assembly is connected with correct polarity to a battery. The at least one LED may illuminate a fiber optic bundle disposed along the length of the assembly. The assembly lights up along its length to thereby avoid tripping over it when it is being used in the dark. When the assembly is connected to a battery with the wrong polarity, the LED will not light up. In an alternative embodiment, a plurality of LED's are disposed along the length of the assembly. The light emitted may be made to flash or change color to indicate the voltage on the battery to which it is connected.
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Claims(6)
1. A flexible jumper cable assembly having a long length with a transparent covering sleeve for connecting to a first battery at one end and a second battery at another end, the assembly comprising:
a) an elongate positive wire having battery connections at both ends;
b) an elongate negative wire having battery connections at both ends;
c) at least one light emitting diode connected between the positive and negative wires so as to emit light only when the battery connections at one end are connected one of the batteries with the correct polarity; and
d) means for emitting light from the at least one light emitting diode along the length of the assembly to thereby illuminate the length of the assembly when one of the batteries is connected to the positive and negative wires.
2. The assembly according to claim 1 further comprising means for modifying the emitted light to indicate the voltage on the battery to which the assembly is connected.
3. A flexible jumper cable assembly with a transparent covering sleeve for connecting to a first battery at one end and a second battery at another end, the assembly comprising:
a) an elongate, continuous positive wire of a particular length having a battery connection at each end;
b) an elongate, continuous negative wire of substantially the same particular length having a battery connection at each end;
c) a plurality of light emitting diodes connected between the positive and negative wires so as to emit light only when the battery connections at one end are connected one of the batteries with the correct polarity; and
d) the light emitting diodes disposed along a major portion of the positive and negative wires to move with the positive and negative wires and to emit light along said major portion its length when electric power from one of the batteries is applied to one end.
4. The assembly according to claim 3 further comprising means for modifying the emitted light to indicate the voltage on the battery to which the assembly is connected.
5. A flexible jumper cable assembly with a transparent covering sleeve for connecting to a first battery at one end and a second battery at another end, the assembly comprising:
a) an elongate, continuous positive wire of a particular length having a battery connection at each end;
b) an elongate, continuous negative wire of substantially the same particular length having a battery connection at each end;
c) at least one light emitting diode connected between the positive and negative wires so as to emit light only when the battery connections at one end are connected to one of the batteries with the correct polarity; and
d) an elongate fiber optic element disposed so as to be illuminated by the at least one light emitting diode, the element disposed along a major portion of the positive and negative wires to move with the positive and negative wires and to emit light along said major portion when electric power from one of the batteries is applied to one end.
6. The assembly according to claim 5 further comprising means for modifying the emitted light to indicate the voltage on the battery to which the assembly is connected.
Description

This invention relates to apparatus for safe operation of jumper cables, and more particularly to a jumper cable assembly that provides light emitted from light emitting diodes (LED's) alongside the cable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Jumper cables are employed to start a motor when the vehicle battery is too weak by connecting a more powerful battery with the weak battery. This may take place in the dark. Moving around in the dark between the two vehicles to connect their batteries, and then to enter the vehicle to start the motor while the cables are in place can be dangerous. If one trips over the cable, the connections may pull loose and cause sparking, burns, and fires.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,123,576 issued Sep. 26, 2000 to James discloses safety jumper cables that ensure correct connections, but do not address the problem of tripping over the cables in the dark.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,969,834 issued Nov. 13, 1990 to Johnson teaches two separate jumper cable segments with LED indicators of correct polarity connection that are first connected to each battery, and then to each other.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,942,859 issued Mar. 9, 1976 to Korodi teaches an extension cord with a male plug at one end and a female plug at the other end. A bulb energized by the cord illuminates a fiber optic in an elongate channel in the cord insulation to light up the cord along its length. In another embodiment, a neon gas in the channel is energized by the voltage in the cord to light up the cord.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,471,540 issued Oct. 29, 2002 to the applicant discloses a jumper cable assembly illuminated along its length by an electroluminescent element.

It would be useful to have a set of jumper cables that would be luminous along its length by light emitting diodes so that people would be less likely to trip over them in the dark that would also indicate correct polarity.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is accordingly an object of the invention to provide a jumper cable assembly that has the usual connections at both ends for connecting two batteries in parallel. It is another object that the assembly emit light along its length when it is connected to at least one of the batteries for safety in avoiding tripping over the assembly. It is yet another object of the invention that the assembly automatically indicate when the proper polarity has been connected by use of inexpensive and trouble-free LED's that indicate polarity and provide light. The jumper cable assembly of the invention includes one or more LED's connected to the positive and negative wires, so that it will light up only when either battery is properly connected. A flexible, elongate fiber optic cable is illuminated by the one or more LED's and disposed alongside the positive and negative wires to thereby illuminate the cable assembly along its length. In another embodiment, a plurality of LED's may be disposed at intervals along the length of the cable to provide sufficient illumination of the cable to prevent someone from tripping over it. If the user connects first to the battery that is more easily seen, the light from the cable will help visualize the other battery. When the user has correctly connected a first battery as indicated by lighting the LED's, the negative terminal can be disconnected and the same procedure followed to connect the second battery correctly.

These and other objects, features, and advantages of the invention will become more apparent when the detailed description is studied in conjunction with the drawings in which like elements are designated by like reference characters in the various drawing figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the jumper cable assembly of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of the assembly of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view taken through line 33 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of the assembly of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view taken through line 77 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 8 is a schematic diagram of another embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the drawing FIGS. 1–3, the jumper cable assembly 10 of the invention includes an elongate, flexible positive wire 1 with clamps 3 at both ends for clamping onto the positive posts of a weak and a strong battery, and an elongate, flexible negative wire 2 with clamps 4 at both ends for connection to the weak and the strong batteries. The preceding structure may be conventional. In addition, the assembly includes an elongate flexible illuminating element 6 attached to the wires, and extending along a major portion of the wires. It may be attached to the wires by various well known means such as enclosing the wires and the element 6 in a transparent plastic sleeve 12, for example. It may be wound on the positive and negative wires in a spiral configuration to be visible from any angle. Wires 1 and 2 are connected to the input 9 of light emitting diode 5 with dropping resistor 8 in the illuminating element 6. A fiber optic bundle 7 in element 6 is illuminated by the LED 5. The bundle 7 is treated to emit light along its length and it extends along a majority of the length of the assembly to avoid tripping over the assembly when in use. The power required by the LED 5 is so low that even the weak battery will light it. If the battery is connected with the wrong polarity, the LED will not light up. This is a clear signal to the user to correct the connection.

Referring now to FIG. 4, a plurality of LED's 5′ are connected in series between the negative wire 2 and positive wire 1. If the assembly is for use with 12 volt batteries, the three 4 volt LED's will light up without any need for a dropping resistor. The fiber optic element 7 is illuminated by all three LED's 5′ that may be all the same color, or different colors, as desired.

Referring now to FIGS. 5–7, a plurality of LED's 5″ are disposed along the length of the assembly for illumination of the length of the assembly without the use of a fiber optic bundle. The LED's may be enclosed in a transparent plastic tube 13 that is spirally wound around the pair of wires 1,2. The combination is then enclosed in the transparent covering sleeve 12.

Referring now to FIG. 8, disclosing another embodiment of the invention, a control circuit 14 powers a plurality of LED's 15 that are disposed along the length of the assembly for illumination of the length of the assembly without the use of a fiber optic bundle. The control circuit 14 is connected to the wires 1,2. When the device is connected to a battery with the correct polarity, the control circuit senses the voltage in the battery and may power the LED's in a variety of manners to indicate the voltage in the battery. For example, the LED's may be made to flash at intervals inversely proportional to the input voltage, with the LED's on continuously when the voltage is normal. Alternatively, the LED's may emit various colors that can indicate the voltage of the battery.

While I have shown and described the preferred embodiments of our invention, it will be understood that the invention may be embodied otherwise than as herein specifically illustrated or described, and that certain changes in form and arrangement of parts and the specific manner of practicing the invention may be made within the underlying idea or principles of the invention.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3942859Nov 11, 1974Mar 9, 1976Korodi Miklos BElectrical conductor with light indicating means
US4420711 *Jun 11, 1982Dec 13, 1983Victor Company Of Japan, LimitedCircuit arrangement for different color light emission
US4938712 *Aug 3, 1989Jul 3, 1990Black Andrew BJumper cables
US4969834 *Oct 2, 1989Nov 13, 1990Johnson Robert AJumper cable apparatus
US5230637 *Sep 9, 1991Jul 27, 1993Weber William PBattery jumper cable
US5434013 *Oct 29, 1993Jul 18, 1995Fernandez; RobertLow voltage illuminated automobile trim
US5566384 *May 23, 1994Oct 15, 1996Chien; Tseng-LuVehicle with an EL light strip
US5833493 *Jun 5, 1997Nov 10, 1998Hung; Kuang FuDC power connecting cable with errorproof indication
US5917288 *Jun 11, 1997Jun 29, 1999Feldman; HaroldSound responsive electroluminescent visual display
US5955957 *Oct 6, 1997Sep 21, 1999Calabrese; StephenFootwear with electroluminescent wire
US6123576Jun 24, 1999Sep 26, 2000James; Robert M.Safety jumper cables
US6338647 *Dec 21, 2000Jan 15, 2002Robert FernandezLED vehicular lights and connectors therefor
US6471540Jun 18, 2001Oct 29, 2002Robert FernandezElectroluminescent jumper cables
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8167471 *Nov 19, 2009May 1, 2012Daniel MoritzSelf-illuminating extension cord
US8376775 *Mar 15, 2011Feb 19, 2013Steven M RinehardtSafety jumper cables
US20050089284 *Oct 24, 2003Apr 28, 2005Ming-Chuan MaLight emitting cable wire
US20110230081 *Mar 15, 2011Sep 22, 2011Rinehardt Steven MSafety jumper cables
DE102014224119A1 *Nov 26, 2014Jun 2, 2016Leoni Kabel Holding GmbhLadekabel für ein Elektro- oder Hybridfahrzeug sowie Ladesystem mit einem solchen Ladekabel
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/503, 362/800, 439/490, 439/504
International ClassificationH01R11/24, G02B6/44, H01R13/717
Cooperative ClassificationY10S362/80, G02B6/447, H01R13/717, H01R2201/26, H01R13/7175, H01R11/24
European ClassificationH01R13/717, H01R13/717L
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 2, 2009REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
Jul 26, 2009LAPSLapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
Sep 15, 2009FPExpired due to failure to pay maintenance fee
Effective date: 20090726